By SHERIDAN ROY
A ribbon-cutting ceremony welcomed locals to the new Goodwill in Plainville, located on the former “Chung property,” which had been purchased and remediated after the previous owner abandoned several properties on the site, leaving them to depreciate and become an eyesore to residents and passers-by.
Nearly 200 people lined up the sidewalk and wove through the parking lot before the Goodwill opened its doors on the morning of Nov. 8.
“This land was in need of remediation for so many years,” said Town Council chair Kathy Pugliese. “It is wonderful to see activity on this site.”
Pugliese said the Goodwill will service many people in the community, either as shoppers, as donators or both.
“Goodwill has a well-developed donation system,” she said. “We are thrilled to have them come to Plainville. It’s encouraging to see so many businesses coming into Plainville. The planning and zoning and economic development departments did a great job with this.”
Town manager Robert Lee said the land was contaminated and was unpleasant to see.
“It’s been a long process to develop this property. This is the first step to completely redevelop this land,” said Lee. There is room for an additional development on the land. “It’s all owned by one property owner, which typically bodes well for retail. It’s a great location for business.”
The president of Goodwill of Southern New England, Richard Borer, said there was shared excitement for the new opening between town officials and Goodwill.
“Our mission is to break down barriers and create opportunities. Having another Goodwill open up helps us to grow our mission,” said Borer. “We have a focus on employees and volunteers to help people who have difficulties finding opportunities to work, such as first generation Americans, people with disabilities and ex-offenders. Goodwill is all about second chances.”
The manager of the new Goodwill welcomed guests into the new building. Team members greeted incoming customers with a smile and a cup of coffee, and offered assistance to guests as they searched the store.
“We are excited to be here. This is a large building, and everything in here is state-of-the-art,” said manager James Brouillette. “We have the best of everything as far as products go.”
John Senese, a developer who bought the polluted, nine-acre parcel in 2011, began clean-up in the summer of 2014 after state officials approved a hazardous waste removal plan. The property was an eyesore for a decade, sitting overgrown with vacant buildings in shambles with broken windows and decay.